Rosmah, Rizal to be jointly tried for solar project corruption case

Rosmah Mansor and Rizal Mansor.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has allowed the prosecution’s application to jointly try Rosmah Mansor and Rizal Mansor, a former special officer to Najib Razak, for corruption over a Sarawak solar project.

However, Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan rejected the prosecution’s application to have Rosmah’s 17 money laundering charges to be heard together with the graft cases.

Zaini said he was unable to agree with the prosecution which relied on several provisions under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla) to consolidate all the cases.

“I am of the view, based on the charges in the solar and Amla cases, that the criteria are not enough under Section 165 of the Criminal Procedure Code and in settled case laws,” he said in his oral ruling.

As such, Zaini said, he would order Rosmah, who is Najib’s wife, to be tried separately on the charges under Amla.

The judge said he was satisfied that the corruption cases fulfilled the requirements for a joint trial.

Zaini fixed the joint trial of Rosmah and Rizal over a 32-day period from Feb 3 to April 30.

The Amla trial will take 20 days from May 11 to July 9.

Rosmah faces two charges of soliciting RM187.5 million and one charge of receiving RM1.5 million two years ago for the supply and installation of solar energy to rural schools in Sarawak.

She was charged under Section 16(a) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (MACC) and is liable to be punished under Section 24 of the same act, which provides for a maximum jail term of 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the bribe or RM100,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

Rizal is facing five charges of soliciting and receiving bribes for himself and Rosmah amounting to RM5.5 million involving the project to supply and install solar energy to rural schools in Sarawak under Section 16(a) (A) of the MACC Act.

On Oct 4, last year, Rosmah had also pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of money laundering amounting to RM7,097,750 and five charges of failing to declare her income to the Inland Revenue Board.

She was charged with committing the offences at Affin Bank Bhd, Bangunan Getah Asli, Ground Floor, 148, Jalan Ampang here, between Dec 4, 2013, and June 8, 2017, and at LHDN, Government Offices Complex, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim here, between May 1, 2014, and May 1, 2018.